Risk & Compliance

Ex-Goldman Analyst Barred for Insider Trading

FINRA says Brian Maguire traded shares in two companies after learning that a colleague was upgrading his recommendation on the firms.
Matthew HellerApril 20, 2021

A former Goldman Sachs analyst who traded shares in two companies after learning that a colleague was upgrading his recommendation on the firms has been barred from working in the securities industry.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Tuesday that Brian Maguire had accepted the industry ban as part of a settlement of charges that he traded last year on inside information he had obtained from the analyst covering the two unidentified companies.

According to the settlement, the analyst sent him emails disclosing the analyst was upgrading the recommendation from “neutral” to “buy.”

“Maguire purchased the [companies’] shares after the upgrades were approved internally but before the research reports announcing those upgrades were published,” FINRA said.

The regulator also said that, on multiple occasions, Maguire traded the securities of issuers that he covered in contravention of Goldman policy prohibiting such trading, sold securities of issuers when he had a buy recommendation in his latest research report, and authored research reports without disclosing that a member of his household had a financial interest in the securities of the issuers.

Maguire joined Goldman in 2010, covering companies in the paper, packing, and waste sector for the research department’s U.S. Industrials and Basic Materials business unit. He was fired in November 2020.

FINRA said Maguire used a family member’s individual account to purchase 2,000 shares of one company for $128,098 in April 2020 after Goldman’s investment review committee approved the analyst’s upgrade. Three days later, after the analyst’s report was published, he sold the stock.

In the other transaction, he used the individual account and a trust account to purchase 29,000 shares of the other company for $721,810 in June 2020 after the upgrade was approved. This time, however, he was unable to sell the shares because the size of the purchases in relation to the total value of the accounts triggered an alert at the firm holding the accounts.

According to FINRA, Maguire also lied to its staff about his trading history during its investigation.